Saturday, March 29, 2014

Tales of a Preschool Nothing & Super Bubbs

Taking Aaron to School.
Elizabeth and I take Aaron to preschool every morning.  All the kids at school know Elizabeth and the teachers and parents are always saying hi to her.  She usually wants to sit with her brother and she's been trying to grab those crayons for months but (ew, germs!) I know they'll just go straight in her mouth!  Friday morning though, she sat in the chair next to her brother and grabbed a crayon and started scribbling!  I guess she's seen her brother and the other kids enough now that she knows what the crayons are really for! Isn't this a cute picture?  I think when the time comes, she'll be ready for school.  

Right now Aaron has a teacher, assistant teacher and then a classroom assistant.  Unfortunately, the only person that has been there the entire year is the classroom assistant.  His original teacher left for a better position and the same with the assistant teacher.  It's great for them, but I feel like it's been disruptive for the kids.  Not only that, but I think these replacements just aren't as invested.  The new teacher thought she would just be there temporarily but it looks like they can't find a permanent replacement.  So I guess she's here for the rest of the year and I don't think she's super stoked about it.  It's an unfortunate situation for the children, but we are trying to make the best of it.  Or just trying to make it through the rest of the year anyway!

BUT...  Aaron's original teacher, Ms. K, texted me on Friday to ask how Aaron was getting along and to say that she missed him and the rest of the children.  It was such a nice surprise and so sweet of her!  I know she loved her class and was super invested in each of her students.  I remember her last day she said some really sweet things about Aaron and told me how smart he was and that she could see him growing up to be an architect or doctor.  I feel so good about her and that she could see such good things in Aaron.  She said she would try and visit the classroom soon.  I was so excited to pick up Aaron that day and tell him.  Even though he didn't outwardly show too much emotion about it, I know he'll carry that with him.  That someone was thinking about him and asking about him and missing him.  

I still read Aaron books every night before bedtime and way before he was even born I bought some of my own childhood favorites to read to my kids.  Shel Silverstein, Judy Blume, Roald Dahl, Beverly Cleary.  These are some of the authors that were read to me as a child in school that made me fall in love with books.  (Thanks Ms. Haviland!)  One of the small collections I bought was Judy Blume's Super Fudge collection.  I've been thinking about starting Aaron on these but wasn't sure if he was quite ready for chapter books.  But after reading Uncle Wiggily's Story Book about a million times, I figured he could handle chapters.  

So we started with Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing this week and I've been reading about 2 chapters a night.  The first day after, all Aaron wanted to do was to go straight home from school and start the book back up again!  He didn't even want to visit with his grandparents (which he always wants to do)!  This kind of makes my heart happy.  I'm raising a reader!  It's so wonderful!  Josh and I are both readers and I'm so glad Aaron will be too.  

I think being a reader has definitely helped him with his vocabulary and reading competency.  I can't wait for him to really start reading on his own!  I just imagine all his (overabundance) of toys being replaced by an overabundance of books!  Hooray!!!  Wishful thinking probably, but that's ok.  A mom can hope......

And Elizabeth Grace - in case you're wondering, her finger is doing ok.  She is using it normally.  It's still red under the nail.  There is some dried blood under there and the top joint still seems red but when I followed up with her pediatrician via email, she assured me it would take at least two weeks for any redness and swelling to go away.  I really can't look at it without cringing but that's not because it's nasty, but because I know I did that to her.  I brought that pain.  So every time Josh is home I make him inspect it just in case I'm missing something.  But she doesn't complain about it and she's using it just fine so hopefully I didn't scare her emotionally too.  Ugh.  Mommyhood.

As for the rest of us, we're still on the hunt for a home.  Please send us some good juju.  We need it!  I promise to give you some right back! 


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Parental Fail

Parent Fail: Smashed Ring Finger
So........this happened.  And I can't stop thinking about it.  It's playing over and over again in my head.  I thought maybe if I just got it out there in the universe it would leave me alone.  Because really, it was a big parental fail.

Aaron was in his room trying to put his pjs on (and by that I mean doing everything he could to delay putting his pjs on) and Elizabeth kept going into his room, playing with his toys and "distracting" him.  So I finally went in there, picked Elizabeth up and put her down in the middle of the hallway.  Then I walked back to Aaron's room, told him to please, for the 825th time, to put his pjs on and that I would close the door (as I was literally doing so) to keep his sister out.  Of course, Elizabeth is faster than lightening and in that 5 second interval of time had made it back to the door and and stuck her hand in the hinge side of the door.  And I closed the door.  All the way.  Without knowing she was there.  And when I realized it and opened the door her little ring finger was blue and indented and bent.  

She's crying and she clung onto me and wouldn't let go.  I tried to pull her away so I could get a better look at the finger and stick it under cold water.  She wouldn't let me.  All I could see was indented, blue and what seemed to be bent.  I never put her down.  I called my sister over and over but she didn't answer.  I told Aaron that we had an emergency and had to take Elizabeth to the doctor and I needed him to be good and listen.  Put shoes and jacket on.  Somehow I was able to get my own pants & shoes on, let the dog out and back in his kennel and get both my kids out the door.  Elizabeth is crying off and on.  The finger to me, looks bad.  Though it is getting better - I just can't get that first image out of my head.

We head to the ER and I get a call back from my sister.  She's still at work but will meet me at the ER.  Then I call Josh and tell him.  And part of me feels horrible for doing this because he's 2 hours away at work and can't come and I know this.  But I call anyway.  Because his daughter is going to the ER.  And it's my fault.  

And Aaron, who is being good but very vocal, is worried and wants to know why I'm crying.  We get to the ER and he announces to the ER that I was upset with him and I smashed the door on the baby's finger.  Which I'm sure sounded horrible to everyone.  My sister arrived just after we did and took charge of Aaron while I checked in.  Elizabeth, by this time had stopped crying and her finger no longer looked bent but did seem swollen and very red of course.  She just seemed tired now.  

Aaron wanted to go with me and Elizabeth everywhere.  But of course I couldn't handle it.  So I made him stay with Eva in the waiting room.  We checked vitals and back to the wait room.  We saw the doctor and then off to x-rays.  And then back to the doctor.  And Elizabeth was so good.  And I felt horrible.  And Aaron was so worried.  

The good news is that the finger is not broken.  The doctor just "prescribed" a cold compress if needed and OTC pain medication.  So we go back home and I give Elizabeth the pain meds and put her to sleep.  She slept through the night.  In fact, I had to wake her this morning to take Aaron to school.  She seems perfect this morning except for a red, slightly swollen finger and being tired.  

I thanked Aaron last night and again this morning for being such a good boy when I needed him to be and I reassured him that his sister was alright.  He gave me a hug and kiss.  The only thing I've ever seen of myself in Aaron is his looks.  He's looked like me from day one but even that wasn't 100%.  Now that he's getting older he's actually starting to look more like Josh.  But I've seen my dad and my older sister in him.  I've called him by my little sister's name before.  He's personality is more like them - my dad and sisters.  But this, him worrying about his sister so much - wanted to stay with her....... That's me.  The first time I've ever said THAT IS ME IN HIM.  I comforted him last night & this morning and will probably do it again tonight.

And though my sister came over last night and stayed for a bit after the kids were asleep, I still couldn't stop thinking about what happened.  And when I went to bed alone, all I wanted was to cuddle with Josh.  I texted him and we promised to cuddle when he got home this weekend.  Having Josh work 2 hours away, staying in Fremont for the week and coming home for a day and a half on the weekend we've joked that I'm basically a single mom during the week.  We've joked, but it's true.  And I don't even know how real single moms do it.  Especially after this.  And it's not even the physical, day to day stuff of being a mom.  It's the fact that I don't have anyone to share the ups and downs with during the week.  Josh wasn't here to go to the ER with us.  He wasn't here to go through this experience - to share the fear and anxiety and relief and guilt.  Even if he didn't feel all those himself, he could share in my feelings.  And I didn't have the physical comfort of Josh.  No hugs, no pats, no hand holding, no cuddles.  After last night I told him he could never leave me.  

He said "I'll never leave you, Bug.  Not until I leave this world".  And if I wasn't crying already, I was then.

This morning after we dropped off Aaron and school we went to Target because I wanted her mind to be distracted and not on the pain of her finger and because.... well, TARGET.  We stopped first at the Starbucks in Target and shared coffee cake and she was happy.

What pain?  I've got coffee cake!
By the time we got home it was her nap time so I put her to sleep and I've only thought about it 2,347 times today and cried 3 times.  I'm just one of those people who replays stuff over and over in my head until either I just get over it or it drives me insane.  Hopefully I'll just get over this.  I might need some help from my therapists, Ben & Jerry.  But if you're reading this, send me some hugs.  I need them.  And if you know some real single moms, hug their faces off too.  


Sunday, March 9, 2014

Spring Forward

I make some good looking babies.
There are those moments in every parents life when you look at your kids and think - Holy crap!  When did you get so big?!  That, my dearies, is happening right now with both my kids.  

Aaron is such a big boy.  So Big.  I mean, when did he grow up?  How is he 5 years old already?!  He's so smart and he surprises me with new things all the time.  Lately it's been reading!  I mean, I've been reading books to him since he was less than a year old.  Every night before bedtime he gets his pick of 2 stories.  And lately, he's been reading random things - signs, labels, fragments of a story - and even though I want to scream OMGYOUJUSTREADTHATALLBYYOURSELF! I refrain and just say calmly "Yeah, that's right!" because I don't want to freak him out.  

Aaron is a funny kid because he won't tell me things if I ask him.  It's actually something I don't like and I'm trying to break him of it.  Because if I ask him what he had for lunch or what he did at school he'll say something like "I don't know/remember" or "It's a secret!".  That's not what I want to hear.  I mean, as a parent and with safety in mind, I want him to tell me everything.  So when he gives me answers like that I want to shake him and tell him "WE HAVE NO SECRETS IN THIS HOUSE!" but I can't.  That's not how you deal with Aaron.  I'm learning this.  I'm learning how to deal with him.  He's not the same as he was when he was 2 or 3.  Things are different.

I recently found out that Aaron was being made fun of at school by other students.  I don't like to use the word bullying because it's not physical, but bullying can be words too.  And he was called ugly and fat.  (Which quite OBVIOUSLY is NOT true).  His clothes and toys were made fun of.  To the point where he wouldn't take off his sweatshirt one day when I took him to his class and when I asked why he told me it was because he didn't want the other kids to make fun of his shirt.  Which started a 2 minute argument between us of how it shouldn't matter what other people think - if he likes the shirt, that's all that matters.  I left the classroom later that morning and was crying by the time I got home.  

After pouring my heart out on Facebook and getting some good advice, I was able to calm down.  But I still made Josh go to school and pick Aaron up because I was still upset.  The next afternoon I spoke to the teachers about the issues and the day after they came to my house for a previously scheduled parent-teacher conference.  We spoke more about the issue and agreed that instead of calling individual students out that they should use it as an opportunity to teach the whole class about bullying.  And they agreed to keep a closer eye on these students.  So far, I haven't heard anymore complaints from Aaron, but when we get dressed I have to ask him about which shirts he wants to wear to school.  

Honestly, my first reaction to the situation was to be aggressive and speak to the students myself.  But I am not Aaron.  And that is not Aaron's personality.  And he has to learn to stand up for himself.  And he needs to learn self-confidence.  I am 36 (in 2 weeks) and I have self-confidence and experience.  I KNOW it doesn't matter what others think.  But this is something Aaron has to learn.  He is a sensitive kid and sometimes I wonder if my aggressive nature is too much for him.  I have to learn to deal with things so that he can deal with them too.  

Elizabeth on the other hand ----- Whoooo Weeeee.  She's a feisty little girl.  I always wanted a boy and then girl so that my baby girl would have a big brother to take care of her but I think it's gonna be the other way around.  Elizabeth is just so adorable.  And her personality is coming out more and more.  She loves her brother (and he loves her) and she brushes his hair and gives him kisses.  She is a mover - she loves to walk and explore.  She has no problem doing things her brother wasn't doing yet at this age.  Aaron still has some fine motor skills he could work on but Elizabeth is climbing and crawling over and opening things.  She took my keys and tried to put them in the door to unlock it.  She climbs on top of Aaron's stool to get to the sink.  If she's hungry, she'll go to the cabinet and get her food.  If she's thirsty, a cup.  I mean, she's so smart!

And big!  Did I mention big?  Josh was just holding her this morning and said "OMG she's so big now"!  I am the one always holding her so I don't get to see how long she is in comparison to an adult.  She's got all her teeth but her eye teeth are only halfway out.  She'll eat anything you put in front of her and I think there have only been 2 things that she hasn't liked.  She even ate sushi!  Just recently I stopped giving her night time bottle and it was completely by accident.  I forgot one night because we had eaten dinner so late and she was full.  Tia Eva came over to visit and with all the stuff going on, I just forgot!  She didn't complain, she didn't ask and she slept through the night!  So I was like, well, that's that then!  No more bottles for baby girl.  

Unfortunately around the same time I was washing two of her binkies and I found holes in them.  I knew that she chewed on them sometimes, especially when she is teething, but this was the first time I had seen the holes so of course I tossed them and then inspected the rest.  I thought one was salvageable but it got a tear a few days later and so I tossed that one too.  Now she's down to one binky.  I'm wondering if I should buy her new ones or just have her be done with them when she chews a hole in this last one.  Josh thinks she should be done but I'm not 100% sure.  What do you think?  I mean, she is 16 months now!  

As for us moving - we are still looking.  It's hard since I'm here and not there to look and Josh sleeps during the day.  I think it's going to take me pulling up my big girl panties and just going over there for a week and just renting.... anything.   I don't want to do it that way necessarily, but with Josh sleeping in his car.... the kids don't see him during the week.  It's too hard on us.  We all want to be together.  We're looking at Fremont, Livermore, Dublin or Pleasanton.  Wish us luck, pray for us, send us good ju-ju.  Whatever you can!

Looking forward to a happy spring with new beginnings!  Love to you all!